The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

China’s Comedic Confidence: To Get People Involved, Ensure No One Can Ever Be As Silly As The Star.
March 1, 2011, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So there’s this video going around that has captured China’s attention.

Because I can’t figure out how to embed it in WordPress, before we go any further, I need you to click here.

Mad eh?

Actually that’s a bit of an understatement isn’t it.

Apart from the “lyrics” being both mental and yet relatively simple to understand [the song title translates literally to ‘Perturbed’] … the fact the singer performs like an exaggerated Freddie Mercury adds to the weirdness of the whole thing.

Anyway, since it came out, Chinese websites have been literally filled with countless brilliant spoof versions but given the cultures obsession with never wanting to publically look foolish to the wider society, I wonder if it’s adoption has been influenced by the fact the original piece being so fucked up, that regardless how extreme someone tries to be with their alternative, they can never look as mad as the original.

To be honest, I have no idea – and I certainly don’t want to give the impression Chinese people don’t have a sense of humour, because they do and it’s a brilliant one – but I do find it fascinating that the clips that seemingly get spoofed the most in China, tend to be the ones where regardless what someone does, it is almost impossible to out–weird the original.

Even if there’s a modicum of truth to that, the implications for Chinese adland are very interesting because so much of the ad humour is based on lowest-common-denominator slapstick and what this would mean you could really start pushing some boundaries, which would be good for the audience, and certainly the industry.

Would be very happy to hear people’s comments, even the ones whose closest dalliance with China is a sweet & sour pork on a Friday night.

36 Comments so far
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ur conclusion does not just hold true for China, everywhere right now I would and have said you need to be the most outragous of what you are trying to change to get people to change..

bulshitting to get past the bullshit…especially in this age of segragation..

think Colbert report on crack..


Comment by niko

what the fucking hell was that? seriously, what the fuck was it and why is it stuck in my head like a fucking novelty record. like everything miley cyrus screams. youve won campbell, im lost for fucking words but it proves those commie fuckers dont need traditional weapons of mass destruction when theyve got shit like this.

ill be back, i just need to get that fucking tune out my ears and the visual out my fucking eyes. and you choose to live there campbell. fucking amazing.

Comment by andy@cynic

Finally. Ha.

Comment by Rob

It’s like being on LSD without the cost. I love those mad Chinese fuckers.

Comment by Billy Whizz

always mr fucking positive.

Comment by andy@cynic

If mishandled, it could become very tiresome very quickly, but I agree with you, the idea of giving your customers permission to step beyond the bounds of their normal existence is a powerful one and highly involving.

Comment by john

youre agreeing with campbell. agreeing. this post has fucked us up in more ways than i thought.

oi campbell, why dont you and marcus do some ipod singing to this shit? its the sort of bollocks youd both love and those commie fuckers would probably cream their panties knowing theyve brainwashed some western twats into doing it.

Comment by andy@cynic

That might be a good idea – if Marcus is up for it, I’ll be up for it.

Comment by Rob

I was drunk.

Comment by john

There might be a defusing motive in the spoofing – diluting the original with lesser ridiculousness.

The original is a classic – Sparks with shoulder eclairs.

Comment by Chris

youre saying theyre doing it so the original nutter wouldnt feel so bad? are you paula abdul in disguise?

Comment by andy@cynic

The original artiste looks oddly comfortable with the situation.

Comment by Chris

shes sitting back and watching the impending fucking fireworks.

Comment by andy@cynic

Is the original version meant as being funny? I doubt it.
The spoofs. People are all the same. They want to cross boundaries for the benefit of experience and feelings of freedom. Whether ridiculing (if that is the purpose) anyone, even themselves, or anything is the way to do it is anyone’s guess. Maybe in cultures where it is expected to be obedient to certain strict rules and maintain face, it is most convenient and accepted to test out boundaries in this way. Karaoke is quite big, too. Just guessing.

Comment by Evolution

some people just like to take the piss, experience and freedom has nothing to do with it.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by Evolution

To be honest I have no idea whether the original was meant to be funny or not, I’m guessing it wasn’t … however the reaction from the audience at that premier performance indicates that from the outset, what the artist wanted people to feel and what people actually felt were diametrically opposed.

Saying that, I don’t know if people spoofed it to ‘test’ how far they could go … I am more inclined to agree with Andy’s point that they just wanted to take the piss [albeit in a none-cynical way] hence my point that given the original is so extreme in its execution, did this encourage more people to take part because they literally couldn’t be as weird as the original.

Comment by Rob

I don’t know whether they wanted to test how far they could go either. But in spoofing this, they did go further than they would probably go in making a fool of themselves in daily situations. The performance is ‘weird’ in a way. But it is also on a high level of artistic performance (that is my point of view).

Spoofing it, I may agree, they followed the ‘weirdness’. Someone else had been weird, so they felt safe to join in, knowing they wouldn’t be as weird (or brilliant) as the original.

Comment by Evolution

You may agree? Do you or don’t you … come on Evolution, which side of the fence are you going to land on? Ha.

Comment by Rob

I am not ready to come crashing down on either side of the fence yet. What’s on the other side, BTW? This needs a bit more thought and input first. So far, and until further notice, I may agree ;).

Comment by Evolution

Is that you in the pic?

Comment by DH

Why? Do you fancy me/her/it?

Comment by Rob

I think this is fucking brilliant. Look at the amount of pseudo fucking shite it has provoked.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

I think you may have a point Robert, which means you have just undermined the countless research reports that claim “face” ensures Chinese societies response will always be conservative and serious. I knew that was ridiculous, but your post has the potential of proving it. Well done.

Comment by Lee Hill

I really don’t know if it’s right – and it’s quite scary that you have a number of reports that seemingly imply Chinese society are serious – but sadly I can understand why, because as I write on Friday [yep, I’m back to pre-writing stuff] too much “research” is adopted to make things easy and convenient, not engaging and relevant.

Comment by Rob

I spotted something which I find both interesting and a bit depressing. I’ll try and embedd it.

Hope that worked. If it did, can you see what I’m talking about?

Good morning.

Comment by Marcus

It didn’t work. Bugger. Here’s the link to what I could see when I watched the video:

Comment by Marcus

Does anyone remember Maria Practanan
(and does this mean the Chinese get irony? They’re one step ahead of 50% of America should this be true)

Comment by northern

I don’t remember Maria – who was/is she?

As for the Chinese getting irony, of course they do – they think it’s ironic so many people in the World regard them as 3rd World when they are already the most powerful and influential country on earth.

Comment by Rob

That told me
Anyway, here’s Maria

Comment by northern

Not wishing to be a pedant, that’s not irony, that’s perversity

Comment by northern

Asian ads do tend to be lowest common denominator but I wonder if that is because while the FMCG types consider it a low ad literate market, their flaw is applying old models from developed world’s decades ago. Developed worlds, who have endured decades and decades and decades of advertising like to feel smart figuring out an ad. A need to feel smarter and superior to advertising.

In Asia they don’t give a crap about superficially needing for feel smart. Are okay with being influenced by ads. Big brands on a relative basis are still relatively new, and interesting. They do give a crap about a little bit of cultural and social stuff that they can recreate, own, chat about and have fun with. They want to be entertained, and just happen to really like wacky stuff. No matter where it comes from. Undoubtedly due to some social norms of composure and honor. But the wackiness, brilliant. Love em for it.

Comment by Brett T T Macfarlane

Hi Brett, nice to have you come by.

I personally believe that the reason some of the ads are lower-than-low is because many Western agencies tell their clients the culture is underdeveloped in advertising appreciation so push out bland bollocks because they can churn it out in 10 mins and make a full 15% profit margin for the first time in 20 years.

Have to say I don’t agree with you on them not giving a crap about superficial smarts – infact I’d say that is a driving force behind a ridiculous amount of their comms, but as I may be misunderstanding your point, I’ll shut up.

Saying that, the wackiness is awesome – though I do think a lot of that is because it’s wacky to us and perfectly normal to them, ha!

Comment by Rob

all that boring asian advertising viewpoint bollocks from a clip featuring a weird commie fucker with the most annoying memorable melody this side of jive fucking bunny. you all need to get out more. and get yourselves fucking lost in the pissing wilderness.

Comment by andy@cynic

The renovattion wilderness you mean?

Comment by john

thats closer to the truth than you fucking think.

Comment by andy@cynic

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